First Play Session Between Baby Gorilla And Dad Captured On Video At Zoo Atlanta

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered. According to WWF, “Because of poaching and disease, the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years. Even if all of the threats to western lowland gorillas were removed, scientists calculate that the population would require some 75 years to recover.”

Zoo Atlanta is proud to be home to one of North America’s largest populations of western lowland gorillas and is thrilled to share these fascinating animals with the world.

On April 24, 2023, Shalia gave birth to a boy who was named Willie B. III after his father, Willie B. Jr., and legendary grandfather, late Willie B. He continues to capture the hearts of fans who are enjoying watching him grow.

@zooatl Quick update to let you all know that SHALIA’S BABY IS HERE! While a bit earlier than we anticipated, baby appears healthy and strong, and mama is doing a PHENOMENAL job. Stay tuned for more! #gorilla #babygorilla #babyanimals #animals ♬ original sound – Zoo Atlanta

The following day, Shalia was seen cradling her baby as she explored her outdoor enclosure in a video posted by the zoo. They shared, “This baby is the first offspring of Willie B. Jr. (who is currently mostly keeping a respectful distance).”

Shalia is an amazing mom who adores her little one. Check out some footage shared by the zoo. They wrote, “Shalia and baby continue to melt our hearts to absolute mush.”

@zooatl Shalia and baby continue to melt our hearts to absolute mush. Big updates on the little one coming this week, so stay tuned! #gorilla #babygorilla #animals #babyanimals ♬ original sound – Zoo Atlanta

Willie B. III also has an amazing dad. Willie B. Jr. is so gentle with his son and a great protector. As the baby continues to grow and thrive, he is spending more time with his dad (with mom close by).

@zooatl How it started vs. how its going #gorilla #babygorilla #willieb3 #animals ♬ original sound – Zoo Atlanta

Their first play session was captured on video and shows just how great of a dad Willie B. Jr. is. Check it out!

@zooatl RIP to us- the sweetness here simply cannot be survived #gorilla #gorillas #babygorilla #willieb3 #dadlife ♬ original sound – Zoo Atlanta

It is clear that Willie B. III has doting parents who will ensure he gets everything he needs to grow big and strong. He acts just like a toddler and is keeping both of his parents busy. Be sure to follow Zoo Atlanta on TikTok for more updates on the little fella. It is an instant mood booster.

Sadly, other species of gorillas are also critically endangered, like the Cross River gorilla. They physically resemble the western lowland gorillas and face many of the same threats. There are only an estimated 300 remaining in the wild. Conservation groups are working tirelessly to help preserve this species, but they can’t do it alone.

Take the pledge and help save the Cross River gorilla from extinction!

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